What's On - Southland Armistice Day Commemorations

What's On - Southland Armistice Day Commemorations

What's On - Southland Armistice Day Commemorations

Starts 12:30pm SUN 11 NOV, with a Street Parade and ends around 4pm with a Roaring Chorus. Full programme...

  • 10:45 am - RSA Service at Crookston cemetery. 
  • 11 am - 2 minutes silence, laying of wreaths. Public acknowledgement of Memorial Tablets at cemetery by the Chair of the Trustees. Cup of tea in the Crookston Hall. 
  • 12 midday - BBQs, food outlets open, merry go-round, amazing display of information in window of PGG Wrightsons on 110 West Otago fallen. Poster competition on display in Chemist window.
  • 12:30 pm - Parade starts at Museum in Tapanui. Vintage vehicles, “Mounted Rifles on horses”, People in  Period Costume, Local organisations displaying support for the Armed Forces, Pipe band, Uniformed personnel including Soldiers, Returned Servicemen, ATC, Cubs, Fire Brigade, St Johns.
  • 1:30 pm - Open air concert including a variety of local talent set to entertain. Parade of those in Period costume who wish to enter competition.
  • 4pm (ish) - Roaring Chorus. The crowd are invited to make a loud noise to show delight at the announcement of the ending of the Great War. Car horns, bells, drums, anything that will add to the jubilation. Conclusion with “The Last Post”


Commemorations are on SUN 11 NOV, including a performance by the NZ Red Cross choir (based in Dunedin, in Gore for the day. 

  • 11am start at the cenotaph. Bruce Cavanagh officiating the service, with Gore District Mayor Tracy Hicks and local MP Hamish Walker to speak. Performance from the Red Cross Choir. Assemble at 10:45am. Dress = mufti and medals. 
  • At the conclusion, invitation back to the Gore RSA for a cuppa, sandwiches, entertainment and displays. 
  • Bistro lunch with set menu from 12-noon. 
  • Gore RSA funding a screening of Sir Peter Jackson's "They Shall Not Grow Old" and "Journey's End". Complimentary tickets to those who attend the service above. Screenings 3pm at the SBS St James Gore. 


A fantastic day is planned in Bluff on SUN 11 NOV; a huge family day at the Oyster Festival site from 11.30am until 3.00pm to remember our soldiers and their families, and to celebrate the signing of the Armistice which marked an end to World War 1 on 11 November 1918.

  • A special feature of the day will be a flyover by a Tiger Moth aircraft over Bluff at 11.45am on the day, weather permitting, courtesy of the Croydon Aircraft Company. The Tiger Moth is a piece of aviation history and was developed from the early planes of the First World War.
  • Meanwhile, inside the venue there will be activities for all ages with entertainment from the Bluff School Kapa Haka Group, magician Wayne McEwan - “The Magic Guy” - Stephen Wilcox and local 3-piece band, The Yardmen. McEwan will also stay to make balloon animals for the children after he performs.
  • There will also be games for kids of all ages, some of them reminiscent of the era, with bobbing for apples, tug o war plus play equipment for the kids and an area for toddlers.
  • A photo booth is being constructed with a dress up box of fashion from the early 1900’s while there is also the option of using one of the vintage cars on display as a backdrop for photographer Yvonne Pickford to utilise.
  • On a more poignant note there will also be a display of photos and some stories of our fallen soldiers from Bluff.
  • Craft stalls will provide that opportunity for a little bit of Christmas shopping while there will also be food, coffee and some free food surprises for the kids.
  • In another nice touch for the day South Port has given permission for any vessels in port to sound their horns at 11.15am on the day and everyone is encouraged to join in with that with whatever they have – for example car horns and the like.
  • Devonshire Teas will also be available from the Senior Citizens Centre in Onslow Street, near the Oyster Festival site from 2.00pm till 3.30pm while there will be a display of memorabilia at the Bluff Maritime Museum on Foreshore Road by the Island Harbour entrance from 10.00am to 4.30pm.

Bluff Promotions is grateful for the support of Four Square Bluff Supermarket, Bluff Community Charitable Trust, South Port NZ Ltd, NZAS, Ballance Agri-Nutrients and South Pacific Meats for their assistance with this event.


A special exhibition to honour Southlanders who fought, and died, in World War I, is open in Esk Street. The Invercargill City Council, together with the Southland Museum and Art Gallery, Awarua Communications Museum, Invercargill City Libraries and Archives, and volunteers, have collaborated to create the multi-faceted exhibition.

  • Open until SAT 10 NOV at 63 Esk Street, the former ASB Bank Building, and will be open between 10am and 4pm daily.

Representing the Council’s contribution to the exhibition will be the stories of Southland men killed in the liberation of Les Quesnoy, on November 4, 1918, as well as the Invercargill Borough Council employees killed during WWI. Their stories have been researched by local historian and Council Archives Assistant Wendy McArthur. More than 100 poppies knitted by Council staff, family and friends, will form part of the displays.

Meanwhile, Invercargill RSA and Awarua Communications Museum have also set up displays as part of the exhibition, and the Invercargill City Libraries and Archives team’s Since Writing you Last project will also feature.

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